Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), has said the menace of kidnapping and banditry in Nigeria would be arrested with more investments and job opportunities for the youths.
He spoke at a meeting with Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State at the weekend in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, saying that government must find a way to create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youths, in order to secure the future of the country.
“Our job is to support and we have been supporting Nigeria. We are willing to support you”, the AfDB President added.
Adesina expressed its readiness to provide technical and financial support for Ekiti State Government to upgrade its infrastructure, including fixing the Ado Ekiti- Akure road, which is currently in a terrible state.
Other projects which the AfDB is willing to support are the Ekiti Airport, the Ekiti Knowledge zone (a smart city to promote knowledge economy) and the agriculture processing zone project, all geared towards improving infrastructure and socio– economic development of the state.
Speaking at the meeting, Fayemi said his administration decided to seek AfDB’s support for the projects that were crucial to the infrastructure and industrial development of Ekiti State so as to improve the fortune of the state, re-position it as a destination of choice for investment and create jobs.
Specifically, he said Ekiti State needed to upgrade its infrastructure and invest in agric business, which would in turn provide jobs for its teeming population of youths, which he put at 75 percent of the state’s total population. He added that setting up a smart city to promote knowledge economy is also crucial to the administration.
Fayemi said: “These are our local priorities. If you can support us, it will enable us to do some other things through our own limited resources.
“We have aligned our priorities to the AfDB’s priorities which apply to us, such as lighting up Africa; Feeding Africa; Industrialise Africa etc. All these apply to us as our plan is to make Ekiti a destination of choice for her citizens and all those who will like to live, work and invest in the state.
“To achieve this, we need to invest heavily in infrastructure. We want to fix the roads, have our small cargo airport that will aid agriculture and open our landlocked state to domestic and international markets and ultimately create jobs that our state urgently needs for its vibrant and educated youth population.”